I was at Wigtown Book Festival yesterday.
Wigtown is a small town in the bit of Scotland just north of the Lake District. It's lovely. By the sea. Lots of bookshops. Nice cafes. Friendly people. There was a pipe band and firework display the night before I was on. I took my daughter. 9pm. She loved it.
The festival has an amazing line up. At breakfast on the day of my event, who should come into the room, but Roddy Doyle? I said good morning, then kicked my wife under the table (gently) to let her know too.
If you are an author I recommend asking to go and talk there. They really look after you. If you are not an author, I recommend a couple of days in one of the hotels/B&Bs, watching events, walking, eating, etc.
I had a surprise at my event.
A few months ago I was shortlisted for a Blue Peter book award. One of the young people judging it was very honest, saying, if I remember correctly, 'I hate it'. Well, just before my event a girl came over to me and explained that she was that young person. She also said sorry. I thought it was really good of her to come and talk to me. We talked quite a bit and I told her that it's good she has strong opinions about books. I often ask children what books the love and what books they hate. That's what reading is about: strong reactions.
I should say a book I hate now, shouldn't I? To prove my point. I'll have a think...